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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 418,000

by Calculated Risk on 7/21/2011 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports:

Special Factor: Minnesota has indicated that approximately 1,750 of their reported initial claims are a result of state employees filing due to the state government shutdown.

In the week ending July 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 418,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 408,000. The 4-week moving average was 421,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 424,000.
This is the 15th straight week with initial claims above 400,000, and the 4-week average is at about the same the level as in January.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000 (longer term graph in graph gallery).

Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased slightly this week to 421,250.

This increase was about at expectations. With all the recent layoff announcements (Borders, Cisco, etc), there is some concern that weekly claims will rise over the next couple of months. From the WSJ:
Companies are laying off employees at a level not seen in nearly a year, hobbling the job market and intensifying fears about the pace of the economic recovery.

Cisco Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and troubled bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. are among those that have recently announced hefty cuts